Title

HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment in Sub Saharan Africa: The Partnership of Traditional Healers and Biomedicine Practitioners.

Presenter Information

Chelsy Allen
Hannah Roberts

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

Access to effective HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention is not a universal standard; however it is a global disease. Throughout the world there are many different culturally- based medical belief systems that explain disease causation, as well as appropriate healing practices and preventative measures. We address the question of how effective and sustainable HIV/AIDS healthcare programs can be developed across varied cultural contexts. We analyze two HIV/AIDS programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, where traditional medical beliefs systems include both a more holistic approach to healthcare than Biomedicine, as well as similarities to its germ theory of HIV/AIDS etiology. Biomedicine, as a medical belief system, relies on science and pharmaceuticals that developed in the context of Western cultural emphasis on the individualized experience of and treatment for illness. Although it has been proven effective in some settings, when used alone in non-western cultures, it rarely achieves optimal effectiveness. Paul Farmer and the Partners in Health (PIH) organization include a focus on local community capacity building and important political economic factors in developing viable global health care programs addressing HIV and other diseases. We argue that when Biomedical and Traditional Healing are included in a collaborative partnership, and in combination with the PIH approach, more effective and economically sustainable health care programs for local communities can be created. Such programs also provide the framework for global healthcare efforts to address HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

Poster Number

44

Faculty Mentor(s)

Tracy Andrews

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 17th, 8:30 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment in Sub Saharan Africa: The Partnership of Traditional Healers and Biomedicine Practitioners.

SURC Ballroom A

Access to effective HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention is not a universal standard; however it is a global disease. Throughout the world there are many different culturally- based medical belief systems that explain disease causation, as well as appropriate healing practices and preventative measures. We address the question of how effective and sustainable HIV/AIDS healthcare programs can be developed across varied cultural contexts. We analyze two HIV/AIDS programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, where traditional medical beliefs systems include both a more holistic approach to healthcare than Biomedicine, as well as similarities to its germ theory of HIV/AIDS etiology. Biomedicine, as a medical belief system, relies on science and pharmaceuticals that developed in the context of Western cultural emphasis on the individualized experience of and treatment for illness. Although it has been proven effective in some settings, when used alone in non-western cultures, it rarely achieves optimal effectiveness. Paul Farmer and the Partners in Health (PIH) organization include a focus on local community capacity building and important political economic factors in developing viable global health care programs addressing HIV and other diseases. We argue that when Biomedical and Traditional Healing are included in a collaborative partnership, and in combination with the PIH approach, more effective and economically sustainable health care programs for local communities can be created. Such programs also provide the framework for global healthcare efforts to address HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.